LSU Garden News: Strawberries are an $ 8 million industry in Louisiana; you can grow your own | Home & Garden



Louisiana has a long history of strawberries dating back to the 1800s. Business really started to flourish in the early 1900s, and today, according to the LSU AgCenter, the state’s strawberry industry has agricultural value. gross of $ 8.4 million.

Tangipahoa Parish is the most productive parish, cultivating 75% of the total acres in Louisiana and accounting for 79% of the state’s total gross agricultural value.

You can find Louisiana strawberries in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and roadside stalls as early as November, December, and January.

And you can grow your own too.

Strawberries are delicious and packed with vitamins, fiber, and high levels of antioxidants. They may take work, but if you like a good challenge, the payoff is well worth it.

Early fall is the time to plant strawberries, even if you don’t have much space to do so. Just make sure the place gets plenty of sun.

Strawberry plants are usually sold in garden centers as bare rooted plants, but they can also be found as transplants. Plants can also be purchased online.

Here we need to plant short-day or neutral varieties of strawberries.

Short-day plants begin to produce flowers as the days get shorter in the fall and winter. They initiate flower buds when there are 14 hours of daylight or less per day. Neutral day means that the length of the day does not affect flower production. These strawberries will bloom and set fruit no matter how long or short the days. Some examples are Camarosa, Camino Real, Chandler, Florida Brilliance, Sweet Sensation, and Yakhima.

Strawberries eat a lot, so you need to incorporate one of the following fertilizers: 1.5 pounds of 8-24-24; 2 books of 13-13-13; or 3 8-8-8 pounds per 100 square feet of bed space before planting. Dress aside (add extra nitrogen) with ½ pound per 100 square feet of calcium nitrate in early February and again in March.

Each week we will be highlighting the best food and events in the Baton Rouge metro. Register today.

Liquid soluble fertilizers can also be used on a seven to 14 day basis to provide additional nutrients in early spring.

Strawberries grow best in raised beds and containers with potting soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If you are planting in the ground, the rows should be indented 8 to 12 inches; good drainage is imperative for the best berry production. Strawberries should be protected as much as possible from moisture.

Plant the strawberries so that the crown of the plant is above the ground. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart to allow good air circulation and to help reduce disease.

One of the most important things to do when growing strawberries is to mulch abundantly around the plants with pine straw or seedless straw. This protects the fruits from rotting on the ground. In commercial production, plastic mulches are typically used and they do a great job of suppressing weeds, maintaining soil temperature, preventing fruits from rotting, and preventing rain from splashing on plants.

It is crucial to water the plants abundantly for the first two weeks after planting. Be careful, however, to water only at ground level. Try to avoid getting water on the leaves and crown as much as possible. As a general rule of thumb with strawberries, avoid watering overhead in the late afternoon or evening. Drip irrigation is the best solution.

Once planted, strawberries usually shed their initial leaves, but don’t worry. New foliage will sprout from the crown, and the plant will grow and produce additional crowns before flower production. Be sure to remove runners to help plants conserve energy for wreath production and later plants that are more productive.

The flowers and fruits of strawberries should be protected when temperatures approach 30 degrees. Reemay fabric can be used at low temperatures to protect flowers from freezing. The leaves will survive until the middle of adolescence, but the flowers must be protected.

It takes four to six weeks for a flower to produce ripe fruit, so harvesting can potentially begin as early as a month after planting and will continue until early summer. Once the fruit begins to ripen, pick it frequently.

Mites, slugs and snails are the main pest problems of strawberries. For slugs and snails, use iron phosphate baits to help reduce populations. For mites, use horticultural soaps or oils.

Fungal diseases and rot are a common problem in strawberries. You can help reduce the incidence of disease by providing good drainage, protecting berries from sitting directly on the ground, avoiding watering leaves and crowns, and using rotational fungicides such as copper. , daconil and captan. Be sure to use fungicides labeled for use on strawberries and follow label directions.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.